Many of this year's most popular YouTube ads will never be seen on TV. That's a big departure from even a couple years ago and suggests that advertisers are starting to realize that repurposed TV ads aren't their best options online.
When YouTube released its first annual top-10 ads list in 2012, most of them were either TV ads rerun online or teasers for soon-to-be-televised Super Bowl spots. Two years later the Google-owned video service's list of the most popular ads is overrun with digital-native spots.
While three of this year's top YouTube ads were World Cup- or Super Bowl-related fare, half of YouTube's top 10 spots of 2014 were not designed with TV in mind. Heineken, Budweiser, Procter & Gamble's Always and Duracell brands and 20th Century Fox's film "Devil's Due" each cracked the list with ads made originally for the web.
If YouTube's top-10 list is any indication, advertisers are starting to realize what works online isn't always what works on TV. They're also starting to take advantage of digital as a way to shoot ads that would be hard to imagine ever airing on TV. And it's paying off.
While the TV ads that Nielsen tracks are usually 30 or 60 seconds long, YouTube's top 10 ads of 2014 averaged three minutes in length. That's 47% more time per ad that last year's top 10. Despite the length, the ads were able to keep people's attentions. People spent 54% more time watching this year's top 10 ads compared to last year's crop. And this year's top 10 ads combined for 425 million views, 112% more views than 2012's top 10 spots totaled.
YouTube ranked the ads primarily based on how many paid and non-paid views they garnered and how much of a video people typically watched. It also considers other factors such as likes, shares and total watch time.
Check out YouTube's 10 most popular ads of 2014 below:
1. Nike "Winner Stays"
2. Nike "The Last Game"
3. Budweiser "Puppy Love"
4. Always "#LikeAGirl"
5. Devil's Due "Baby Attack"
6. Duracell "Trust Your Power"
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 "Then and Now"
8. Procter & Gamble "Thank You, Mom"
9. Budweiser "Friends Are Waiting"
10. Heineken "The Payphone"